Van Jones: James O'Keefe's CNN video took me out of context

Van Jones says you shouldn't take James O'Keefe's "sting" video of him at face value

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 29, 2017 1:49PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

News commentator and former President Barack Obama aide Van Jones is skewering President Donald Trump's White House on CNN for being "gullible enough to fall for an edited, right-wing propaganda video."

Part of conservative provocateur James O'Keefe's newest video shows Jones standing outside CNN's Los Angeles bureau saying, "The whole Russia thing is a big nothingburger. There is nothing you can do —"

But as Jones pointed out, this video omited important context about what Jones was saying and why.

"Did I mean that there is 'nothing' to the allegations that members of team Trump colluded with the Russians and then tried to cover it up by firing FBI Director James Comey?" Jones writes. "No — and far from it."

Jones said that he was actually talking about how Democrats need to focus on "bread and butter issues" rather than hoping that the Russia investigation will lead to Trump's impeachment or resignation. Although he believes that there is something "fishy" about Trump's relationship with Russia, Jones also thinks it's unlikely that any evidence will come out "that is powerful enough to force the craven GOP to oust Trump."

That O'Keefe may have taken Jones out of context isn't a surprise O'Keefe, as Bob Cesca noted, has a track record: "Every single video O’Keefe’s ever produced has been resoundingly debunked"

His concern, in other words, is that "too many Democrats see the Russia controversy as some kind of magical 'get out of jail free' card. They insist that we will be delivered from our misery — as soon as the next shoe drops and Trump is impeached."

This is what Jones meant when he referred to the scandal as a "nothingburger."


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump James O'keefe Partner Video Russia Van Jones